The Deir Yassin Remembered Blog

Report on Beth Israel vigil 01-10-15

Posted on January 14th, 2015 at 1:20 pm by

Open Letter to Abe Foxman

Once again, Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends – despite our self-identification as “anti-Israel” – failed to make the Anti-Defamation League’s “Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in the U.S.” list. So we sat down and penned the following letter to the ADL’s National Director Abe Foxman in hopes of correcting this egregious omission.

Abe Foxman,National Director
Anti-Defamation League
605 Third Avenue
New York, NY 10158

Dear Mr. Foxman,

As the founder of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, I would like to share with you the concern our group feels when we read the ADL’s 2013 “Top Ten Anti-Israel Groups in the U.S.” JWPF has identified as “anti-Israel” ever since Rabbi Rob Dobrusin of Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor, Michigan, labeled us as such in his op-ed letter to a local newspaper in 2007. Prior to that we identified only as “pro-Palestinian”. That was before we understood, as the Rabbi does, the zero-sum game at work, i.e. either Palestine lives or “Israel” does; there’s no sharing this trophy called Palestine.

Due to our small size, we’re not disappointed that we haven’t made the Top Ten list, but what rankles is that nine of the “top ten” groups you’ve listed are NOT anti-Israel. Only Neturei Karta rabbis, who pray for the peaceful dismantlement of the Jewish state, can be thus identified.

In fact four of the listed groups are Jewish-led (as you point out) and are PRO-Israel. They are

Act Now to Stop War and End Racism
CODEPINK: Women for Peace
Jewish Voice for Peace
US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation

None of the above groups identify as “anti-Israel” and all call for a “two-state solution”, which is about as Zionist a “solution” as one can imagine: Jews go HERE, non-Jews go THERE. Bingo! you have a Jewish state. To call these four groups “anti-Israel” can only mean someone at the ADL isn’t paying attention, and it’s your job – with our help – to set the record straight.

Additionally, one of these Top-Tenners – Friends of Sabeel-North America – regularly invite Zionist Jews to be keynote speakers at their gatherings. If that isn’t the fox guarding the hen house then we don’t know what is.

Back to describing our group a little for your consideration, seeing as how the 2014 “Top Ten” list has yet to be published and perhaps opening a slight chance for JWPF to be recognized: We have held peaceful vigils in front of a Zionist synagogue (is there any other kind?) for over eleven years. The local newspaper covered our group with a front-page story about a year and a half ago, including our picture above the fold:

JWPF Anti-Israel

You can read the story at the URL provided below if you need more verification of our bona fides. Or you can contact me at the email address supplied below. Please, Mr. Foxman, set the record straight and give our group the recognition it deserves.

Yours truly,
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Ann Arbor, Michigan


January 3: Six vigilers
January 10: three vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Gas chambers? Tell us the truth!

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-27-14

Posted on January 3rd, 2015 at 8:17 am by

Israeli Citizens in OUR Congress?

L. Michael Hager poses an important question in his Counterpunch article “Dual Citizens in Congress? Why It’s Important for Us to Know”. He received an indignant response when he asked a staffer at Massachusetts Senator John “Ed” Markey’s office to ask for help in identifying Members of Congress who hold dual citizenship with other countries. Taking the lead from Mike, I called my own (Jewish) Senator Carl Levin’s office in Detroit, identified myself by full name, and asked the staffer named George if Carl was a citizen of the state of Israel.

George (very firmly): “Senator Levin is a citizen of the United States.”
Me: “Yes I assumed that. My question was whether he was also a citizen of the state of Israel”
George (much louder): “Senator Levin is a citizen of the United States!”
Me: “I’ve identified myself with my full name. What’s yours?
George: “I’m the only George in the office”
Me: “And Carl Levin is not a citizen of Israel?”
George (really loud): “Senator Levin is a citizen of the United States!!”
Me: “And he’s not a citizen of Israel?”
George (right up there in volume): “No. He’s not. Senator Levin is a citizen of the United States!!!”
Me: “OK, thanks. That’s what I wanted to know”

Anybody convinced? This writer surely isn’t, and plans to exchange views, information and strategies with Mr. Hager later this month. Oh, it also comes from a reputable source that the online publication refused to run Mike’s piece although they have run other articles by him. Interesting …

Armed only with Mike’s article and a burning interest in the loyalties of government officials, Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends showcased our new sign this Saturday.

Israeli citizens in congress

Belated Report on Alison Weir Talk in Toledo

Seven JWPF members and supporters traveled to Toledo, Ohio on December 9 to hear an informative presentation by Alison Weir, President of the Council for the National Interest and Executive Director of If Americans Identifying the crimes of Israel as “one of the major ethnic cleansings of modern times”, she recounted many chapters of her book, Against our Better Judgment; How the US was used to create Israel. Some topics were: (a) the Bergson Boys – a clandestine group fronting for Zionists post WWI, (b) the Parushim – a secret organization boasting members such as then-current Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and (c) the destruction of reputation of renowned reporter Dorothy Thompson by frustrated Zionists. And Alison did not flinch from loaded questions (e.g. “you don’t have a degree in history, do you?”) put to her by a member of what she referred to as “the usual ethnicity”. A similar talk to her Toledo presentation, given in Seattle, can be viewed here. Good job (as usual), Alison!


Four vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Eight Million Dollars a DAY!!??

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-20-14

Posted on December 23rd, 2014 at 10:52 am by

Taking a Lesson from Chris Rock

Millions of viewers have seen Chris Rock’s “How to not get your ass kicked by the police” video. His intro is:

People in the Black community often worry that we might be a victim of police brutality. So as a public service the Chris Rock Show proudly presents this educational video.

Have you ever been face to face with a police officer and wondered “Is he about to kick my ass?” Well, wonder no more. If you follow these easy tips you’ll be fine.

We in the peace movement, having been deceived countless times by Jews posing as anti-Zionists, have likewise wondered “Is this person the real deal? Is he/she truly a fighter for equal rights for Palestinians? Really refusing to be enemies?”

Well, wonder no more. If you use these simple questions you’ll be able to separate the true peace and justice activist from the Zionist pretender immediately.

First, ask yourself: Has this person stated or written that he/she unequivocally supports the Right of Return for ALL Palestinians – including their descendents – to return to the villages and cities from which they were displaced? Score it: Never: 0 points, Always 10 points, Mumbles something about ROR such as “it’s complex” but remains vague: 1 point

Second, ask yourself: Does this person reject the legitimacy of a Jewish state imposed and maintained by force? Score: Never: 0 points, always: 10 points, Mumbles something about troubling historical decisions unfavorable to Israel: 1 point

Third, ask yourself: Does this person interject the “Holocaust” in his/her presentations, blogs and/or writings without admitting that no one can produce a single wartime photograph of a homicidal gas chamber? Score: Always: 0 points, Never: 10 points, sometimes, albeit with crocodile tears in eyes: 1 point

Fourth, ask yourself: Has this person signed onto the “Jews for Justice for Germans” Facebook page, which demands, among other claims “We call on all Jews to demand that the interactions between Germans and Jews 1933-1945 be open to discussion in the same way as any other events in history”? Score: Has signed: 10 points, refuses to sign: 0 points, May consider signing at a future date: 1 point.

Finally, fifth, ask yourself: Does this person speak openly and frankly about Jewish Power and how it is implicated in a whole host of worldly ills, including endless war in the Mideast, world-wide banking upheaval and a media designed to distort the news while promoting Jewish interests? Score: Yes: 10 points, No: 0 points, says “I’m never speaking to you again”: -5 points.

So there it is. Add up the points and trust the Jewish person who scores 49 or more points.

Vigiler Ed Pinkney Sentenced to 2.5 to 10 Years

Two members of JWPF attended the sentencing of our friend, civil rights activist and co-vigiler Ed Pinkney in St. Joseph, Michigan Monday, Dec. 15. The mood of Ed’s followers were hopeful, even prayerful, before Judge Sterling Shrock called the court to order at 8:30 AM. But prayers were not answered, as Schrock meted out a two-and-a-half-year to ten-year sentence commencing immediately. Below is a photo of this writer and Ed prior to his handcuffing by the court’s bailiff. The definitive article describe Ed’s ordeal at the hands of a “politically motivated” court system by Abayomi Azikiwe can be found here.

Ed at sentencing-sm


Dec. 13 – seven vigilers
Dec. 20– six vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Expose Fifth Columnists in the Movement!

Report on Beth Israel vigil 12-06-14

Posted on December 7th, 2014 at 10:26 am by

Ann Arbor District Library Sports New History Book

Thanks to a donation by Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends, visitors to the Ann Arbor District Library may now check out a copy Alison Weir’s new book, Against Our Better Judgment: The hidden history of how the U.S. was used to create Israel. AADL members can place a hold on the one copy here.

Alison Weir to speak in Toledo

Alison has made many friends in JWPF and some of us are planning to attend her talk promoting her new book this week. Her talks are always extremely informative. Facebook promotion of this event here.

Tuesday, December 9 at 6:00 pm
Unity Church
3535 Executive Pkwy
Toledo, OH 43606

Skip Schiel Photos Available

As promised, guest celebrity vigiler Skip Schiel put photos of JWPF’s vigil of November 22 on his website. These photos from a snowy Saturday can be viewed here. Pay particular attention to the man clad in a grey jacket: He’s Victor Lieberman. His goal of having us go away could easily be met by convincing Beth Israel Congregation to put away the foreign flag it flies in its sanctuary, but to date Professor Lieberman has been unable to perform this simple task.

JWPF Founder Visits a Classroom

Addressing a group of fourth-year sociology students at an area college, this writer gave witness to his growing understanding and appreciation of Jewish Power from personal experience. The recent Detroit-based trial of Rasmea Odeh was used as example of Jewish Power from both the right and the left. Clearly Right-Wing Zionists have manipulated our court system to incarcerate this political activist, while the Left-Wing Zionists have forbidden certain signs – like those exposing Jewish Power – to be held at protest rallies. See our report of November 17, 2013 for some clarity on this bad-cop, bad-cop phenomenon.


Nov. 29 – six vigilers
Dec. 6 – five vigilers
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
Challenging Jewish Power since 2003

The Har Nof Killings: Dan McGowan’s Letter to Uri Avnery

Posted on November 25th, 2014 at 3:05 pm by

The following is reposted from the Deir Yassin Remembered Facebook page:

In the wake of the recent events in the synagogue at Har Nof, Uri Avnery has written an article which you can read here. Like all his work, Avner[y]’s article is informative, original and beautifully written. But it has a glaring omission.

Here, Dan McGowan fills him in:

Dear Uri:

I know that you realize that the Har Nof neighborhood in West Jerusalem, where four rabbis and a police officer were recently murdered, is built on the lands of Deir Yassin, the Arab village which no longer exists, that was the site of the 1948 massacre, which according to Menachem Begin, was pivotal to the founding of the Jewish state. This was an early massacre in the Nakba; there were many more to follow, but it struck fear among Palestinians, causing many to flee, also giving the Jews an angle for campaigns of terror, which they visited on other Palestinian villages, basically “Get out or we’ll do to you what we did in Deir Yassin.”

It is interesting to ask why the media, which has been all over this synagogue massacre, mentions nothing about what happened on this site on April 9, 1948?

Why does Wikipedia fail to even cite Deir Yassin in its history of Har Nof?

The attached picture of Har Nof [see below] is taken from Yad Vashem, the most prestigous Holocaust memorial. The water tower at the top right is next to the main buildings of Deir Yassin, which today serves as a mental hospital, mostly for those suffering with too much religion, an affliction also known as “The Jerusalem Syndrome.”

At Yad Vashem all visitors, and especially American politicians, are repeatedly told to “Never forget.” At Deir Yassin the message is “Never mind.” There is not even a signpost among the old Arab buildings to indicate that it was once a prosperous Arab village of about 750 people.

In building the Har Nof settlement much of the Deir Yassin cemetery was destroyed. The rest is littered with trash and condoms. Har Nof children have been seen digging up the Arab graves. (Imagine the outcry had they been desecrating Jewish graves.) Apartment buildings of Har Nof are literally built on the old quarry where villagers were executed and their bodies dumped and burned on April 10, 1948.

The ironies are breathtaking. But some of us still remember.

Daniel McGowan
Professor Emeritus, Hobart and William Smith Colleges


Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-22-14

Posted on November 25th, 2014 at 3:04 pm by

Local Jews Get the Heebie-Jeebies

Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends are not united in their perception of the effectiveness of the BDS campaign, waged since 2005, but one thing appears certain: the local Jewish community is very nervous about this non-violent campaign strategy. So nervous, in fact, that they called in the Doctor on this one: University of Illinois Professor Cary Nelson has made a reputation for himself as a one-man attack dog on the BDS movement, and came to Eastern Michigan University to attempt to smooth the ruffled feathers of local Jews.

This guy is one smooth operator, and judges himself highly by his observation that since he irritates both sides – the Right Zionists and the Left – he must be promoting justice. As a JWPF supporter stood throughout his talk with her “Boycott Israel” shirt, Mr. Nelson told the audience that he actually approves of such displays of free speech. Nice guy. Both sides. Right.

His talk was titled “Bait and Switch: The Purpose of the Movement to Boycott Israel”, and he spent much of his talk personally ridiculing BDS leaders Judith Butler and Omar Barghouti, pointing out alleged technical flaws in the Call, and suggesting that there be not drama in this debate; Cary supports “cold reason”.

And he attempts – if anyone was really listening – to defeat the peace movement mentally right out of the starting gate. He assured his audience that the idea that Israel will cease to exist as a Jewish state “ain’t gonna happen”. And for those who didn’t hear his catchy phrase, he repeated it again by saying if folks think that Israeli Jews will just pack their bags and move to Germany or Poland, well, that just “ain’t gonna happen”. Some of us remember former Israeli tank commander Itzik Henig telling local Jews in 2006 that “Israel is an irreversible reality” at the beginning of each of his presentations. Although ”waves” of Israeli Jews are actually moving to Germany, this strategy of whistling past the graveyard has apparently not gone out of vogue.

Nelson called on this writer – clad in my “No Jewish State” t-shirt – to ask the first question. Prefacing the question with facts like Ashkenazi Jews did not reside in, nor were they historically expelled from Palestine, and that at the time world Zionists conveyed their first international conference Adolf Hitler was merely eight years old, I asked if Israel had a right to exist as a Jewish state and if so, by what right?

His answer was three-fold: the Balfour Declaration and its claimed support in the international community, the UN partition plan, and yes, Henry, the Holocaust did play a part in the guilty world community supporting Jewish “return” to Palestine. When I requested follow up questions on each of his three answers, angry cries of “no, you can’t”, and “you’ve spoken enough” rang from the audience. Magnanimous Nelson said we would return to my follow up questions, but of course ran out of time.

Icy Conditions at JWPF Vigils

A pre-winter icy rain left a sheet of ice and water covering many of Ann Arbor streets and sidewalks just prior to our November 22 vigil. In spite of these challenges six members of JWPF – including a surprise visit from professional photographer Skip Schiels – held down the fort.


Nov. 15 – six vigilers
Israel Out of Palestine
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends

Report on Beth Israel vigil 11-08-14

Posted on November 12th, 2014 at 6:08 pm by

JWPF Supports Rev. Pinkney

Four members of Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends traveled to Benton Harbor, Michigan to witness part of the 6-day trial of our friend and supporter, Rev. Ed Pinkney. He has been waging a decade-long campaign against corruption, corporate control, and an attempt to gentrify his town, which is 96% Black. For his efforts to recall Mayor James Hightower from office for his collaboration with corporate interests, Ed – himself black – was found guilty by an all-White 12-member jury guilty of making changes to the dates on recall petitions he helped circulate.

The evidence presented by Prosecutor Mike Sepic, however, seemed to play more into the hands of the defendant than for the “People”: a Michigan State Police forensic expert testified that while chemical analysis showed that changes to petitions were made, sometimes with different ink, he could not determine when these changes were made or by whom. Rejecting the jury’s decision, Ed writes “Rev Pinkney will not accept the verdict by an all white jury, who were motivated by something other than the truth.” See the press release from BANCO (Black Autonomy Network Community Organization) here, and an excellent news article here.

Politically Correct Commissars – Part Deux

Our last report detailed our friend Michael’s run-in with those politically correct and oh-so-sensitive leaders who determined that his sign “Jews killed thousands (in Gaza)” was so “offensive” that they had him jostled and his sign snatched and destroyed. This week we encountered another Jewish activist, David Smokler of Detroit, who went from nice guy to name caller in less than two minutes. We encountered him at a lunch break during Ed Pinkney’s trial, and responded to his questions re: my “End ‘Israel'” hat. Asked does Israel have a right to exist as a Jewish state, he muddled an answer, but drew the line about suggestions of Jewish power in media, banking, and Hollywood and blamed US imperialism as the force behind the Jewish state’s aggressiveness. When asked to produce a single US governmental document that supported the creation and/or maintenance of a Jewish state in Palestine as part of US interests, I was labeled “narrow” and “xenophobic”, although in 68 years I’ve yet to express any fear of the end of the alphabet (or of Xenia, Ohio for that matter.)

The irony in this brief conversation was that he writes for a publication called The People’s Tribune whose editorial staff features Sandra Reid, who promised this writer no coverage of Palestine (yet alone Israel’s crimes, nor massive Jewish support for same) in the paper. So while Smokler (himself a contributing writer to the Tribune) denied Jewish control or domination in the media, he and Sandra present as prima facie evidence of such control. If it walks like a duck …


Nov. 1 – 8 vigilers
Nov. 8 – 7 vigilers
Zionists out of the Peace Movement
Henry Herskovitz
Jewish Witnesses for Peace and Friends
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